Wednesday, April 05, 2006

TV 2006 - The First Quarter - Must CC TV

Well folks.. 2006 has just passed the quarter mark.. Baseball season is here.. The rotiserrie drafts are done… and it only took 3 innings for my rotis pitcher CC Sabathia to get injured!! (This is the 2nd earliest injury to one of my players… On Opening Day a few years back Desi Relaford injured himself running out a hit in the first inning and promptly made a beeline right to the DL!) By the way that CC Sabathia Indians-White Sox game Sunday Night didn’t end till after 2 am eastern time.. And poor Jon Miller and Joe Morgan had to hop a plane to San Diego for a late Monday afternoon Opener against the Giants. That was the game where the fan tossed a syringe at accused steroid user Barry Bonds. Good thing Bonds wasn’t accused in an artificial insemination controversy… I cringe to think what would have been tossed at him.

So how have the TV powers that be done so far this year? The true test comes now for me… since any non baseball programming will have to really really grab my attention between now and the end of October when The Mets win the World Series. So, lets revisit the world of TV and see what looks good.. And what has changed since my last TV column at the end of December.

CABLE - ESPN gets a lot of eyeball time now with Sports Center and Baseball Tonight. I will also renew my friendship with TBS and make a new friend with SNY.. and maybe catch a Yankee game on YES… Watching SNY is cool; I finally saw Gary Cohen … after hearing him for so many years on the radio.. Plus the old games from ‘86 are fun to watch Boy was SNY embarrassed on Opening Day when their signal went out in the early innings and they had to put the 9-17-86 clinching game on again! Not an auspicious way for a network to show its first ever game although it wasn’t their fault due to a power outage at Shea! Too bad the power didn’t go out when Jorge Julio took the mound in the 10th inning of the 2nd game!

The only other cable network I regularly watch is GSN… and most of that are the Match Game hours at 11pm at night and weekends at 3pm. with a little Password sprinkled in. I also catch the late night repeats of Larry King and Rita Cosby. King is a legend.. Rita is not.. It amazes me how her daily Holloway-Newlywed Cruiser show manages to get her soooo excited. Nonetheless the 1AM broadcast might be the unintentionally funniest late night program. I still can’t quite figure out her appeal..

SUNDAY - Not much has changed here… I still watch Desperate Housewives at 9pm and tape The Family Guy for later viewing. Although I miss American Dad which was just starting to hit its stride this season. Whatever did happen to Betty Applewhite and the son she had locked in her basement? Do they EVER do anything with that storyline or have they quietly moved them out of town? 10pm is Grey’s Anatomy for me.. A program that in the last few months has gotten better than DH. Some of those women… especially Dr. McDreamy’s wife (Kate Walsh) are freaking gorgeous.. But the story line with the blonde doctor flirting with the patient awaiting a new heart is just a tad bizarre… as are most of the things that go on there… like a Dr. living in the hospital. Why don’t they just put her in a trailer in the parking lot like the guy who used to be on Trapper John, MD another Sunday at 10 pm hospital show from yesteryear? Nonetheless the show just has a certain charm. Maybe because all the characters are weirdos?

And how about the Sopranos? My free month of HBO ends soon.. And after seeing the first four episodes.. I am just not impressed. The storyline is ok…..but I have zero interest in the characters. Sunday‘s episode was actually entertaining… but having this Paulie guy beat the hell out of this poor kid because he is jealous of his relationship with his mom shows how incredibly unlikable these characters can get. Tony Soprano’s thoughts about the deeper things in life were interesting with Hal Holbrook’s character and the Born again minister leading him to question science vs. religion. The religious dude’s comments about dinosaurs coexisting with humans because the Bible says Earth was created 5700 years ago was so bizarre.. and amazingly there are those that believe it. And finally, Tony’s frustration with the whole health insurance process, his concern with staying on the payroll for job he is rarely at.. (kind of like CC Sabathia on Opening Day), and his choice words for the insurance woman who tried to speed up his discharge were quite entertaining ..

Maybe at some point, I will watch the first season on DVD and see if I can grow to care for these unlikable characters. But so far.. Im pretty lukewarm to the whole show.. I do like Paulie Walnuts’s hair… and its cool to see the guy who played the buddy on Doogie Howser.

MONDAY - Speaking of Doogie.. “How I Met Your Mother” while a good show from late ‘05 just hasn’t made its way to my eyeballs this year. Ive kind of gotten into that train wreck of a show called “Deal or no Deal”…. I call it a train wreck because its hard to look away. The show involves zero skill, but its cool to watch people’s greed take over their knowledge of statistics and watch them kiss away a ton of money as the wacky studio audience eggs them on. Most impressive to me is how Howie Mandel knows the names of all of the models when he asks them to open the suitcase. Its also a good warm up for 9pm and 24... THE best show on TV..

I’ve seen some of the D or N D episodes that run in the UK and Australia. The British version is a cooler less dragged out version. Instead of hot models, the 22 contestants stand on stage facing each other at Family Feud type tables for as many shows as it takes to get randomly picked for the game… Each show has a different contestant randomly picked from that pool, and the remaining contestants each have a box. Its obvious the contestants bond during the shows and really take a vested interest in the pound amounts…(they sometimes hold hands and pray, and even stay at the same hotel) In one episode, a woman actually cried at the end of one game when her box had a huge dollar uh I mean pound (or euro?) amount for a contestant who ultimately won a measly penny.. The Australian version by the way has the wacky loud audience like the Howie Mandel version, except the banker doesn’t call in, they just use a graphic. The Australians also use suitcases like our version, but they are opened by regular people who actually win money if they accurately predict the dollar amount inside their case.

As for 24, although the show has kind of dropped it a notch since they killed off Edgar a few weeks ago. They have also altered the format this season so the episodes are sort of self contained. I think 24 hours are too long and they should just focus on a shorter work day… maybe condense it to 16 hours and call it “Double Shift”… Notice how the characters work such a long shift and never inquire if they are getting overtime? I must admit that turning the President into a bad guy involved with terrorists was quite a twist. CSI Miami wraps things up at 10pm as David Caruso continues to show us on a weekly basis that he is indeed the worst actor since Flipper.

TUESDAY - The only show I watch is Law and Order SVU. How much money does Richard Belzer get paid to really do nothing on this show every week?

WEDNESDAY - More Deal or No Deal.. Then at 9pm its Lost. Kudos to the Jersey guy who wrote to Entertainment Weekly and offered what I think is the best theory on the shenanigans over at Mystery Island. All of the castaways are willing participants in the Dharma (and Greg) experiment and have had new memories implanted. Therefore the “flashbacks”: are really non existent memories… I kind of like that theory and it works for me.. especially now that Hurley is questioning his sanity and the resident shrink may have actually been a patient with Hurley at a mental hospital. And that whole Henry Gale character who is a prisoner in the hatch.. Is that actor creepy or what? He also played a looney tune on The Practice a few years back.

10pm is CSI:NY which in my opinion is the best of the CSIs.. It has a certain attitude to it.. Which makes it quite entertaining. I kind of like Gary Sinise.. He has just the right amount of intensity without going over the top…yet balances his character out with a sense of humor!

THURSDAY - I just haven’t gotten into Survivor this season.. And big change in my weekly viewing .. I also haven’t been watching CSI. Instead I’ve jumped on the My Name is Earl bandwagon. I like the show and Jamie Pressley is hysterical as the ex-wife of the title character who is on a lifelong crusade of redemption. I wonder if the Born Again Guy from The Sopranos got to him. I also try to catch The Office at 9:30 since I get a kick out of watching incompetent buffoons in the workplace. I have been working for more than 20 years, and none of these crackpots really surprise me. 10 PM is Without A Trace.

FRIDAY - I think Ghost Whisperer has jumped the dead shark.. But Close to Home with Jennifer Finnegan has now caught my attention…. mainly because she played Marnie on Committed… (The guy that played Nate is on an NBC sitcom on Thursdays that I have never seen)

SATURDAY - No Must CC TV after the Sabathia although I occasionally catch the first 15 minutes of SNL. The recent bit with Steve Martin explaining managing credit by not spending money you don’t have , was absolutely hilarious and should be must see TV for any credit card applicant!

One other show I really like that I catch in reruns is Law and Order: Criminal Intent… but only the weeks that Vincent D’Onofrio is on.. Another show I will be watching this spring is Game Show Marathon, a retro game show right up my alley with Ricki Lake hopping in the time machine and hosting old favorites using the old retro sets with celebrities as contestants. Match Game will be on too.. And I am sure it will draw the inevitable comparisons to the unmatchable legendary 70s version. One odd note.. They are doing The Price is Right. My question… Why? it’s a Bob Barker show.. and as long as Bob is walking and breathing and fooling around with the models.. It shouldn’t be hosted by somebody else.

However, now that baseball is back and I have rotisserie teams to follow.. a blog to write.. and a Trophy Wife to give kisses to…it looks like my TV time is going to decrease. Also with Passover and the tax deadline coming up.. the postings on Nate’s World of Words will slow down a bit for the next couple of weeks.. Nonetheless, we will revisit the TV season at the end of May after all the shows wrap up for the season. And by the way... Mark my words.. assuming he can stay away from any major injuries… CC Sabathia who at 25 has already won 69 games… will one day reach the magical 300 win mark…It will probably be about 13 years and 5 Katie Couric facelifts from now… but I think its gonna happen…


"Three's Pumpany" said...

Unfortunately, I'm not very current with television these days. With our limited rabbit-ear reception, our TV is powered on for maybe two hours a week (Natasha is a devoted "Gilmore Girls" groupie, and we tune in to random reruns of "Law & Order", "Frasier", and whatever else we happen to find after 11 pm). Hopefully that will all change when (if?) we subscribe to even a bare minimum cable package in upcoming months.

As for pop culture in general, I could care less about "Ben & Jen", or Tom Cruise's scientologist freakiness, or Lindsay Lohan's cocaine diet, and I have no idea how to spell Gwynnyth or Beyounce. Musicwise, I could listen for eternity to my collection of yesteryear (countless different genres from the 20th century), but I've actually been impressed with two current bands with very talented musicians: Coldplay, and Keane. With these guys, at least there's some hope for the future of pop music.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.....

Nate said...

Whats Gilmour Girls? Is that one of those WB or UPN shows? I dont watch those 2 channels...

"Three's Pumpany" said...

"Gilmore Girls" is on the WB (soon to merge with UPN to create "CW", which I won't be in any rush to watch, either). Coincidentally, here's today's headline scoop on the upcoming season finale:

Steve said...

Holy Crap Nate! I had no idea you were such a freakin couch potato. WAY too much TV bro! Let's actually go to a Mets game soon, instead of just sitting on your ass and watching it on the boob tube. Happy Passover! I hear they remade the 10 commandments on ABC and that Moses is portrayed as a whiny, little bitch... Now that's must see tv!

Nate said...

I'm always up for a Mets game.. we can go with Craig and Adam B. By the way, do you realize that the Mets have played 1/20th of the season, and Zambrano is 1-0.. That means he is on pace to win 20 games!!